At some point in the last semester I realized that a course in creative writing is very much required. Creativity comes at a premium these days hence maybe a course could help. Of course with great creativity, comes great redundancy. Nonetheless the boredom was significantly punctured when along came an assignment. To cut to the chase I was asked to write a story titled, “If God came to IIT”.
Now fiction used to be my forte a long time back. But that’s because I used to read. A habit, I have discontinued since the last century. Hence currently my level of expertise in fiction matches that of George bush in quantum theory. Nevertheless, I had to write. And I wrote.
Now I must do issue a statutory warning, the story ahead is so ghastly that it falls in the “it’s so bad, it’s good” category. You may call it the Gunda of short stories. All the best.
*The following is a piece of fiction. As of now there haven’t been a any reports yet of any resemblance to anything factual.
GOD MUST BE CRAZY
You may scoff at what I am about to tell you. I hope you won’t turn up your nose and quip “that’s bullshit. I will have to take this story with a barrel of salt.” Not that it matters what you feel about it. Let me tell you how my name got added to the long list of people like Abraham, Moses, Muhammad, Joan of Arc, Mother Teresa & Keith Richards. Lies before the story of how I met God. In IIT.
After an unpleasant three hours watching the mind-numbing Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, I was on my way back to the hostel. My friends, who were too unnerved to find their mental balance after the cinematic venture, had gone off to the beach to recuperate. Not being a beach person I decided to return back to the institute. It was like any other serene summer evening in the institute. It was while I was in the parking shed that I noticed him. Standing at the bus-stop with an incredulous look. It was evident that here was a man looking for help. My boy’s scouts instincts took over and I walked over to the gentleman.
Ordinary, commonplace, discreet wouldn’t be the words I would use if I was asked to describe his appearance. Immaculate to the T, the person was one of the most striking figures I have encountered. Judiciously tall and surprisingly well built for his age, the white hair and beard gave him an air of quiet authority. Estimating his age seemed futile. But he was definitely pretty old. He was dressed in a pristine creaseless light brown suit. Must have been an Armani or a Versace. Needlessly to say I was reasonably impressed even before I had spoken to him.
‘Sir, can I help you’? I asked. The man looked up and stared at me for a while thorough his horn-rimmed glasses.
‘Actually yes, it seems the buses are not running today. Can you guide me to
‘No problem sir. I am going the same way. We can walk. It shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes.’
As we started walking, he turned to me and asked, ‘So sayan did you like the movie?’
I thought I misheard him. “Excuse me?” I asked.
“How was aag? The reviews weren’t good.” he queried with a deadpan expression.
“Do I know you sir? How did you know my name? May I know who you are?” I asked totally flabbergasted.
“First of all drop the sir. And if you must know, then the fact is that I am God.”
“I am God.”
“The god?? You mean the temple one?”
“Well that would be a trifle unfair. Also the mosques, churches et al. the whole deal.”
“Oh in that case I am Luciano Pavarotti. Would you like to hear me serenade?” I blurted out. Realizing that I had been a bit rude, I apologized.
“I understand your conundrum,” he said with a cherubic smile, “But trust me. I am God. Didn’t you pray for Real Madrid’s victory today morning?”
“Holy Shit! How did you know that?”
“And didn’t you promise in Tirupati that incase you got
“Good Lord! You are God!”
I still was doubtful regarding the person’s identity. Running into the almighty on a Sunday evening was not how I though my day would progress a few minutes back. Nevertheless he did know some freaky details about me which no one did. Especially the fact that I am closet Real Madrid fan. Hence I decided to refrain from asking him to ‘go to hell’ and continued humoring his role-playing.
‘Well if you say so its fine. What do I care? So why this sudden emergence in IIT?’
“Well, it’s an intriguing affair. I have been getting a huge amount of requests from people for quite some years now. It’s seems the young students are desperate to be in this place. Ironically, I also receive request from people within this campus desperate to get out. I just had to check out what the whole thing is about.’
“Ha! That’s crazy! Aren’t you supposed to be omnipresent and all? Know what’s happening everywhere and all that stuff.”
God broke into a devilish grin. “I think my employees have a little over-zealous. I did reprimand Jesus and Muhammad for creating a hyped image. But you know how rookies are. Desperate to prove themselves. But then I think my ego got the better of me. I should have been a little more discreet in my methods. Anyway, I am not present everywhere contrary to popular belief. I do have very efficient staffs who keep me updated with things they feel I should know.”
“You mean like the CEO of a company.”
“Ya, something like that. For example yesterday I was in
“I mean failed. Institute Lingo.”
“Actually it’s ‘a fool can ask more questions than the wise can answer’ but I get your point.”
“So tell me how is life here. Why do people spam me like this with endless series of requests to get in and as soon as that happens they want to get out?”
“Spam! As in email spam?”
“Ya, we went electronic a decade back. Ever since the atheism industry took off, Recruitment efforts have taken a hit. We lost some good people there. And of course the religion field has stagnated. Heaven has lost its place has the most prized job perk. It’s all about I-banking now. So we cut down on staff and went electronic.”
“Hmmmm. Interesting. Anyway I feel if you really want to understand what IIT is all about I suggest you come as a student. Only then you can understand the mystifying dichotomy prevalent here. And by a student, I mean a B-tech student. Those half-hearted masters won’t do the trick.”
God grimaced. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
I retorted, “And why is that?”
An embarrassed look came upon His face. “Well you see, I did give JEE. But…well…actually…to tell the truth….I didn’t pass.” He looked extremely apologetic. Then suddenly turning defensive he exclaimed, ‘It’s needlessly tough!’
I had started guffawing by then. “You couldn’t pass an exam!!! And you call yourself God! The purveyor of all thing living! The One with all the answers! The Creator Himself!”
God stiffened and said somberly “I do know all the answers. Answers to the deepest mysteries of the universe. The answers to life. It’s meaning. Its purpose. Answers to questions which wouldn’t even occur to you or any human on this planet. But yes, I do not now what will happen when you mix ethyl benzoate with phenolphthalein. That’s because it’s extremely insignificant”.
“But the didn’t Einstein say that God is in the details”
“Sayan, for me Creation was Art. Not Science. Science, Knowledge & Intellectual pursuits are creations of man to understand the universe and hence me. Nothing else. And anyway Einstein just wanted to sound profound by mouthing all those inanities. That presumptuous prick. Who’s he to say whether I play dice or not?’’ said God obviously referring to the man’s famous retort to Bohr.
The sermon on creation had left me a little flustered. Trying to bring the light banter back on track I commented, “Well then, do you play dice?”
“As a matter of fact I do! It helps me when I have tough decisions to make. For example when I had to decide on how to wipe off dinosaurs I was torn between an asteroid strike and a gigantic flood. While the former offered an opportunity of tremendous pyrotechnics the later would have been more fun to orchestrate with effective cloud management involved. The dice roll went in favor of the asteroid”
“Well you seem to have a devil may care attitude about your work style”, I quipped slyly.
Spotting the jibe, god smirked. “Its not as easy as you might think it is. With great power comes great responsibility”
“Whoa!! Now you are lifting lines from Spiderman!!”
Visibly unsettled at the fact that his quote source had been revealed he said, “We have digressed too much. We were discussing how I can have a comprehensive overview of life in this campus. Obviously coming as an engineering undergraduate is ruled out. I am surprised you can’t give me an intelligent suggestion and you people are supposed to be the clever ones. What was I thinking when I made you!”
Not willing to enter into an exchange of barbs with God himself, I took a moment to think. And then it struck me! “In view of your leanings towards the Arts, I have a proposition. It seems you are unaware of the fact that since last year the institute has been offering under graduation in humanities. That should be ideal for you. “
“Really??” shouted God with a disbelieving tone. “That would be perfect. How come I wasn’t informed of this? Ever since Confucius took over the petty complaints & miscellaneous Information division, the updates have been deficient. I will have to give him a dressing down tonight. Sayan, thank you for this excellent suggestion. May your I-banking dreams come true”
“How did you know!” I cried out and then immediately realizing how stupid the question was.
“So”, I continued,” now what?”
“Well, I will be getting the details of the humanities thing as you mentioned. Then I am will take a vacation for a week. It’s been quite some time since I took one. The last one was in September, 2001. It was wonderful meeting you. I am sure we will meet again. I guess it will be here itself. Of course I won’t be in a brown suit. And I won’t look this old either.”
“Vacation eh? Where do you intend to go?” I asked curiously.
“Where else but Kerela.” he grinned.
I chuckled and looked up. He had disappeared.